Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Sharon Small­wood

MARK Yore re­mem­bers Air­lie Beach when the only roads were dirt strips and a sprin­kler wa­tered down the dust.

His fam­ily moved to the re­gion in 1965 when he was just one year old and his father bought into the milk de­pot.

The fam­ily left in 1972 but now, four decades later, Mr Yore is back and about to try his luck as a can­di­date for Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil’s Divi­sion 1.

A for­mer com­mu­ni­ca­tions ad­vi­sor to Queens­land Sen­a­tor Sue Boyce and mar­ket­ing man­ager for a fi­nan­cial plan­ning firm, Mr Yore says one of the rea­sons he’s run­ning is a “rea­son­able de­gree of ex­pe­ri­ence in out­side things”.

And look­ing in with an out­side set of eyes, “I think we’re po­ten­tially head­ing to­wards ru­in­ing what we’ve got,” he said.

Point­ing to cur­rent Air­lie Beach build­ing height de­bate, Mr Yore noted Noosa was now a con­crete jun­gle “and the Gold Coast – well I don’t even want to go there”.

“But here there’s still that sense of neigh­bourli­ness – and I think we’ve got to tread care­fully over the next cou­ple of years,” he said.

“It only takes one or two de­vel­op­ers to wreck a place.”

Mr Yore be­lieves the cur- rent coun­cil is “not a func­tional coun­cil”.

“And a lot of that is be­cause the first two years are spent bag­ging the hell out of the pre­vi­ous coun­cil and the next two years are spent pick­ing other fights, but there comes a time when you’ve got to draw a line in the sand and stop wor­ry­ing about who said what and just look at where we want to go,” he said.

“Ac­count­abil­ity has gone to hell and I was amazed to find out coun­cil took the min­utes and agen­das of their meet­ings off the web­site.

“It costs al­most noth­ing to live stream a coun­cil meet­ing – four or five cam­eras and a half-de­cent in­ter­net con­nec­tion – peo­ple should be able to see what their coun­cil­lors are do­ing.”

Asked what he thought the other is­sues fac­ing the re­gion were, Mr Yore spoke of a flat prop­erty mar­ket and high in­sur­ance costs.

“The big prob­lem here is ba­sic eco­nom­ics. It comes down to a cou­ple of things: in­sur­ance is keep­ing the house prices down and the mar­ket has vir­tu­ally col­lapsed,” he said.

Speak­ing on the re­cy­cling de­bate, Mr Yore was in­cred­u­lous th­ese ser­vices weren’t main­stream in Air­lie Beach, say­ing “Isaac Re­gional Coun­cil has green bins out in the middle of ‘woop woop’, yet here in this pris­tine en­v­i­ron- ment we’re dump­ing things in the same bin”.

Now liv­ing in beau­ti­ful Shute Har­bour, Mr Yore said he loved the area and wanted the chance to use his skill-set to pre­serve it.

Semi-re­tired, he said the is­sue of coun­cil­lors’ pay rates didn’t bother him.

“You don’t ac­tu­ally have to in­crease the pay to get good can­di­dates – peo­ple who ac­tu­ally care will do it what­ever,” he said.

FRESH EYES: Mark Yore is the new­comer to the race for Divi­sion 1.

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